The Politics of Literature

Poland 1945-1989

Carl Tighe

The Politics of Literature

Carl Tighe

Distributed for University of Wales Press

412 pages | © 1999
Cloth $30.00 ISBN: 9780708315248 Published January 1999 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

In Poland, literature is politics by other means; writers are the real national leadership. The history of post-war Polish literature is also very much the story of opposition to communism. In this pioneering and stimulating study of post-war Polish intellectual history, Carl Tighe analyses the complex interface between politics and literature under communism. It is an analysis which shows clearly that it was not the Catholic Church but the writers of the lay left who were the most consistent critics and opponents of Stalinism.

This innovative study draws on the working lives of more than 200 writers, but its focus is on the wily creativity and turbulent careers of a handful of internationally renowned figures: novelist Jerzy Andrzejewski, critic Jan Kott, science-fiction writer Stanis aw Lem, diarist Kazimierz Brandys, journalist Ryszard Kapu ci ski, novelist Tadeusz Konwicki, and historian Michnik.


1. Cultural Pathology: The Roots of Polish Literary Opposition to Communism
2. The Writing Profession
3. Jerzy Andrzejewski
4. Jan Kott
5. Stanisław Lem
6. Kazimierz Brandys
7. Ryszard Kapuściński
8. Tadeusz Konwicki
9. Adam Michnik
10. Writers, Language and Party
11. Socialist ’Unreality’ to Capitalist ’Reality’

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